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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 09-05-2013 04:00 PM

The Friday Five: Phoning It In

This week: tales from telecom, including Verizon's big buy, Microsoft's mobile mission, BlackBerry on the auction block, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to The Friday Five: five stats from the market and the stories behind them.

Joining me, as always, with The Friday Five is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser.

Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason.

Stipp: So what do you have for The Friday Five this week?

Glaser: As the summer is wrapping up, I figured we could just phone this one in. So we're going to look at $130 billion, $7.2 billion, 2, $299, and finally, 100%.

Stipp: $130 billion is the amount that Verizon paid to get control of all of Verizon Wireless from Vodafone. This is something they've had their eye on for a while. So what's next?

Glaser: It really is. They finally do have control over their crown jewel. Verizon Wireless really is the crown jewel of Verizon and was a big deal for Vodafone as well. I think that's why [Verizon] had to pay a pretty hefty price in order to finally get this deal done. [The deal involved] a mix of cash and stock and some swaps of other holdings that they have in order to get Vodafone to agree to give up what was a pretty good asset for them, and their entree into the United States wireless market.

What's going to happen with Verizon next? From a strategy standpoint, there is not going to be a lot of change. They already had the majority control of this unit; you wouldn't expect any big changes there. It changes the financial characteristics of the business a little bit; they're going to add quite a bit of new debt in order to fund some of the cash portions of this deal.

Mike Hodel, who covers Verizon for us, thinks that [Verizon is] paying maybe a little bit over whatever a fair price would be, but not so considerably that it's destroying a lot of value. But there is not a ton of room to make a lot of value there either, so he doesn't expect any big changes in the fair value estimate [for Verizon].

I think we're going to see Verizon probably spend a couple of years digesting this, using that cash flow to pay down that debt level, get some of their financial flexibility back, which is always important in an industry that's changing very frequently.

Vodafone, for the amount of cash that they're receiving, a lot of it's going to go right back to shareholders through a special dividend, so that they're not sitting on this big cash hoard, or maybe looking for acquisitions there. Allan Nichols, who covers Vodafone for us, thinks that's probably the best use of that cash.

This is a deal that's been a long time coming, so it's good to see that it's finally done. It will probably allow these companies really to focus and not be distracted by this anymore.

Stipp: Microsoft this week was also feeling acquisitive, spending $7.2 billion for the Nokia handset business. This is interesting because Microsoft's corporate strategy is also changing; we talked about that recently. So how does this piece fit in?

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